Piano Scuola Digitale – Partita la consultazione per il piano di interventi

Piano Scuola Digitale 2020

Piano Scuola Digitale – Partita la consultazione per il piano di interventi

Come sarà il nuovo anno scolastico post pandemia da COVID-19?
Tra tante incertezze e poca chiarezza sulle regole da seguire, riguardo mascherine, distanziamento e trasporti pubblici, la scuola riparte in Italia ufficialmente il 14 settembre.
La previsione è di riprendere con le
lezioni in presenza, ma ancor prima dell’inizio, si prospettano notevoli difficoltà organizzative, ad esempio la mancanza di docenti, e strutturali, per cui le scuole non sembrano essere pronte alle esigenze tecnologiche che la didattica attuale richiede.

Il Piano Scuola digitale è stato ideato proprio con l’intento di potenziare la tecnologia a disposizione delle scuole e soprattutto la connettività, portando negli istituti la banda ultralarga.

Piano Scuola digitale

All’interno del più generale progetto Piano Scuola 2020-2021, trova posto il programma avviato dal Comitato per la diffusione della Banda Ultralarga, Piano Scuola digitale, a cui Tanaza aderisce come partner per la gestione software delle reti WiFi.

L’Italia è ancora in una condizione di forte ritardo per quanto riguarda la diffusione dell’utilizzo di reti WiFi. Il programma è stato avviato proprio con lo scopo di accelerare le tempistiche. Sono stati quindi stanziati oltre 400 milioni di euro come fondi destinati alla realizzazione di una rete Internet con caratteristiche adatte alle sedi scolastiche di tutto il territorio nazionale, potenziando la connettività grazie alla banda ultralarga.

Gli enti coinvolti stanno valutando tutte le possibili sinergie

Dopo l’incontro dello scorso 30 luglio, tra una delegazione di Assinter Italia, la rete delle società pubbliche nel settore ICT – Information & Communication Technology – per l’innovazione nella Pubblica Amministrazione, e Infratel Italia, si è cercato di fare il punto sulle possibili sinergie in vista dell’accelerazione del piano BUL.
Nel corso della discussione, si sono analizzati i progressi del piano BUL aree bianche, già affidato ad Open Fiber, e valutate possibili sinergie tra le società pubbliche rappresentate da Assinter Italia ed Infratel Italia.

Si è, inoltre, discusso proprio delle modalità operative del Piano Scuola che vedrà in prima linea alcune società regionali con Infratel Italia nella realizzazione delle infrastrutture.

La collaborazione con le società regionali sarà fondamentale per dare una spinta definitiva alla realizzazione delle opere affidate alla concessionaria Open Fiber.

Piano Scuola: partita la consultazione per il piano di interventi per la banda ultralarga

Su incarico del Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico è stato pubblicato sul sito di Infratel Italia, l’avviso di consultazione pubblica, degli Orientamenti dell’Unione europea per l’applicazione delle norme in materia di aiuti di Stato in relazione allo sviluppo rapido di reti a banda larga, come stabilito dal COBUL lo scorso 5 maggio 2020.

L’obiettivo è quello di dotare gli istituti scolastici di servizi di connettività con banda ultralarga fino a 1 Gbit/s e banda minima garantita pari a 100 Mbit/s per la durata di 5 anni. Il Piano Scuola digitale prevede di fornire servizi di connettività ad oltre 30.000 scuole medie e superiori pubbliche su tutto il territorio nazionale, nonché a tutte le scuole primarie e dell’infanzia pubbliche situate nelle aree già interessate da interventi infrastrutturali, nell’ambito del piano banda ultralarga che interessa le “aree bianche”. Questi interventi hanno lo scopo di supportare le esigenze di connettività funzionali all’erogazione e fruizione della didattica per studenti e docenti.

A conclusione della consultazione pubblica, il piano di intervento in esame sarà notificato alla Commissione europea, per poi essere disciplinato da un apposito decreto del Ministro dello Sviluppo Economico.

I soggetti interessati potranno presentare eventuali osservazioni, entro il 15 settembre 2020 alle ore 13, all’indirizzo e-mail consultazione@infratelitalia.it.

E’ possibile consultare il documento sul Piano di interventi infrastrutturali per la banda ultralarga nelle scuole e l’allegato con il dettaglio degli interventi.

Scopri la piattaforma Tanaza per gestire reti WiFi nelle scuole

Scopri di più su Tanaza e in che modo può rappresentare il tuo partner ideale per implementare reti WiFi nelle scuole.

Scarica la brochure
Tanaza OS

How to use the OSI Model to Troubleshoot Networks – Layer 2

How to use the OSI Model-to-troubleshoot Networks at Layer 2

How to use the OSI Model to Troubleshoot Networks at Layer 2


Press play to listen to the article.

Try now the Tanaza
WiFi Management Platform

Start 15-Day Free Trial

✔︎ No credit card needed ✔︎​ Easy configuration

✔︎ Auto rollback when you desire

or continue to read more
about how to use the OSI Model
to Troubleshoot Networks – Layer 2

Our previous article discusses how to use the OSI model to troubleshoot network problems at layer 1. We covered how to outline issues with your WiFi Networks and how to troubleshoot them using the OSI model.

Just to refresh your memory, the OSI model helps break down an issue and isolate the problem’s root. Ideally, it’s best taking a layer bottom-up approach as most of the WiFi problems happen in the first two layers of the OSI model. If the problem is not in layer 1 or 2, it is not a WiFi problem. Period!

In this article, we continue our way up in the OSI model with the data link layer.

OSI Model to Troubleshoot Networks at Layer 2

Data link is the second layer of the OSI model. It relates to how the systems using a physical link cooperate with one another.

It helps to transfer data between two devices on the same network. The data is broken down into packets. The data link layer’s job is to define unique sequences to indicate the beginning and the end for each packet. Also, it is directly responsible for flow and error control in intra-network communications.

The data link layer has two sublayers: the Logical Link Control (LLC), which interprets electricity, light, and WiFi into 1s and 0s that become the data packets. The other sublayer is the Media Access Control (MAC) layer, accountable for moving data packets to the Network Interface Card (NIC) to another across a shared channel. Thanks to MAC protocols used in the sublayer, the signals sent from different stations across the same channel don’t collide.

WiFi radios talk via 802.11 frame exchanges at the MAC sub-layer of the data link layer. Therefore, the next layer to look into when troubleshooting networks is layer 2 of the OSI model.

Retransmissions

The most common problem in layer 2 is retransmissions that happens at the MAC sublayer. Everything starts when a transmitter device sends a unicast frame to a device. The receiver device uses a cyclic redundancy check, aka ‘CRC,’ to confirm the data packet reception’s integrity. If the CRC passes, it means the data packet has not been corrupted during transmission.

The receiver device will send an 802.11 acknowledgment ‘ACK’ frame back to the transmitter device, as a way to verify the data packet delivery. If a collision happens during the information transmission or part of the unicast frame is corrupted, the CRC will fail. Thus the receiver device won’t be sending an ACK frame to the transmitter device.

In turn, the transmitter device will transmit the frames again, causing retransmission. Retransmissions have a high impact on WiFi networks as it creates extra MAC layer overhead. Also, it consumes additional airtime in the half-duplex medium.

Layer 2 retransmissions have a negative effect. For instance, if the throughput goes down and latency goes up, it would most likely impact voice and video. So, an increase in latency will result in echo problems, and high jitter variations will result in disjointed audio. As a rule of thumb, for WiFi calls, the maximum rate of retransmissions your WiFi network can handle without affecting the service should be less than 2%.

Reasons for layer 2 retransmissions can be quite a few. For example, a radio frequency interference paired with low Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) due to a lousy WiFi design. Both of them happening at layer 1. Furthermore, there’s the possibility of adjacent cell interference and a hidden node that can also cause higher percentages of layer 2 retries.

Let’s break the reasons down:

SNR (Signal-to-noise ratio)

It is the difference between the received signal power and the noise power expressed in decibels. The retransmissions at layer 2 increase when the background noise is close to the received signal power or if the signal is too low. Stats to live by for WLANs: A good signal quality should be between 20 and 25 dB. Anything below these ranges is considered low signal quality.

RF interference 

It plays a significant role in the retransmissions in layer 2. Excessive retransmissions will happen when frames are corrupted because of RF interference, and therefore, throughput is reduced significantly. If these retransmissions occur frequently, it’s essential to understand the source to remove the interference device.

Channel interference 

Let’s go back to basics. When designing the 2.4GHz WLAN channel allocation plan, make sure to use the channels available for 2.4GHz properly. When there’s an overlapping coverage cell, and overlapping frequency space, the chances of having corrupted data and layer 2 retries are remarkably high. Remember to set up a reuse pattern for 2.4GHz channels 1, 6, and 11 (US) or 1, 5, and 9 -sometimes 13 is also used in deployments for Europe. In this way, you prevent adjacent cell interference in your WLANs.

Hidden node

In wireless networking, a ‘hidden node’ means that a specific node ‘talks’ to a WiFi access point but can’t ‘talk’ directly with other nodes already having a ‘conversation’ with that access point. This should ring all the bells, because it leads to problems in the MAC sublayer as multiple nodes send data packets to the access point at the same time, thus creating interference at the AP level, resulting in data packet loss.

Side Note

When there’s frequent packets loss, and thus retransmissions occur often is crucial to keep an eye on the percentage of packet loss and retransmissions. Tanaza has an embedded ping tool in the cloud management platform that allows you to track data packet loss and network performance to identify connection issues proactively. Our ping tool measures and records the packet round trip time, which lets you know the levels of latency between devices. Additionally, it measures if there are any losses along the way while performing the ping test.

Roaming

Another common problem in layer 2 is roaming. Sometimes roaming problems occur due to drivers’ issues on the client device side, and sticky devices due to bad WiFi design. Usually, roaming improves for those client devices that support 802.11K protocols.

Furthermore, roaming has a correspondence with WLAN security. When client devices roam from one AP to another, they always need to go through an authentication process with the new AP. When AP’s act independently, establishing an authentication takes place every time the client device roams. 

For instance, an end user’s smartphone is connected to the airport’s WiFi – where dozens of AP’s coexist in the same network. If the end-user is on the move, without the inclusion of standards 802.11r/k, the smartphone disconnects from the existing AP before establishing a connection with the new one. 

As a result, the end-user experiences WiFi disconnection and latency while reconnecting to a new access point. It translates into dropped WiFi-based calls, websites loading slowly, difficulties in uploading images on social networks, and other negative performance. 

The Tanaza WiFi cloud platform supports the current fast roaming IEEE 802.11 protocols. The fast roaming standards are leveraged when a client device is connected to a secured-password or captive SSID in a wireless network. The standards allow the client device to roam quickly from one access point to another seamlessly. The client devices do not need to re-authenticate to the RADIUS server every time they switch access points.

By installing the TanazaOS operating system on access points that do not have roaming within the stock firmware, you can add roaming features following the IEEE 802.11r/k/v standards to the devices. Consequently, the Tanaza Operating System enables the fast roaming feature on top of multi-vendor networks of a variety of WiFi access points its compatible with.

Try Tanaza

Experience the power of managing WiFi access points from the cloud with Tanaza.

Start a free trial

✔︎ No credit card required ✔︎ 15-day free trial

Tanaza OS

Troubleshooting wireless networks with the OSI model – Layer 1

Troubleshooting Wireless Networks

Troubleshooting wireless networks with the OSI model


Press play to listen to the article.

Troubleshooting wireless networks? We have the right recipe! 

Deploying a robust state-of-the-art WiFi network that allows delivering high performance and reliability has turned out to be a challenging task for many enterprises. Wireless networks can be expensive and complex to set up and implement; thus, organizations, more than ever, seek assistance from Service Providers.

Rightful, having a cloud-managed WiFi solution that proactively pinpoints performance issues before your customers know they exist, has become a necessity. Nowadays, network administrators need to be able to troubleshoot issues right away, remotely, and fast.

Outline the issues in your Wireless Networks

Before attempting to solve any issues with WLANs is crucial to understand the root of the problem and gather information about the situation by answering the Five Ws questions (who, what, when, where, why), to outline the issue and define an action plan.

Identify the issue by asking the right questions to your customer.

  1. What is the problem the customer has? Is it a slow connection to the Internet or no Internet access at all? Or does the Internet connection drop randomly?
  2. When is the problem happening? All the time, at certain times in the day, once in a while? Timestamps are key! Check the access points log files you are monitoring.
  3. Where is the problem happening? Is the problem described in question one happening in one area? Multiple areas? Is it campus-wide. By asking this question, the problem can be isolated to a specific access point or area.
  4. Who gets affected by this problem? Does the problem affect one client or many client devices? If it affects many devices, it might be a deeper issue; however, if it’s affecting one client, it might be a problem with the device itself and not with the entire WiFi network infrastructure.
  5. Why is the problem happening? Mostly it could be associated with changes carried out by the customer. Understanding if the customer did any change to the WiFi structure that might have triggered the problem is crucial.

Once you have gathered all the key information from your customer, it’s time to start troubleshooting your WLANs, layer by layer.

Troubleshooting Wireless Networks with the OSI model

At Tanaza, we like to take a structured approach when it comes to troubleshooting wireless networks. We use the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model as a framework for troubleshooting networks.

The OSI model is a conceptual model that enables different communication systems to “talk” in the same “language” using standard protocols. This universal language for computer networking splits up the communication system into seven different layers, each one stacked upon the last.

The OSI model helps to break down an issue and isolate the root of the problem. Ideally, we suggest taking a layer bottom-up approach. When it comes to WLANs, most of the WiFi problems happen in the first two layers of the OSI model. So, if the issue can be narrowed down to one specific layer, you can save some valuable time and avoid needless extra work.

OSI Model Layers

In this article, we will cover troubleshooting WiFi Networks at Layer 1 of the OSI model. In our next article, we will cover Layer 2. Keep an eye on our Tanaza blog or activate your notifications so you are the first one to read the next article.

Troubleshooting Wireless Networks – Layer 1

The layer 1 of the OSI model, includes the physical equipment involved in the transmission and reception of data, like connectors, cables, switches, and fiber. In this layer, the data is converted into a bitstream, a series of 1s and 0s. That means the physical layer of devices, by default, must agree on code and modulations; thus, the 1s can be separated from the 0s on both devices.

As a rule of thumb, WiFi (802.11) operates at the first two layers of the OSI model, in other words, the physical layer and the data link layer. Broadly speaking, Physical Layer issues can be split into two main groups: outage and performance issues.

Outage issues

Investigating outage issues is the easiest one. Network admins can start by simply checking that all the equipment is connected correctly, and access points, switches, cables, and gateways are turned on and online. 

Performance issues

On the other hand, when delving into performance problems, it’s crucial to have the right tools to diagnose degraded performance. An easy and fast way to understand performance issues is by pinging devices to know whether the target device is active, the network path between source and destination is right in both directions, and also to measure the packet round trip time to determine latency and jitter levels. 

The Tanaza software has an embedded ping tool that allows network admins to perform routine ping tests. After pinging a device, the tool displays the ping results through dynamic diagrams. These graphics allow users to get a quick overview of the network situation in a fast and organized way, while at the same time pointing users in the direction of what’s causing the Physical Layer problem.

Also…

As part of the check-up, take a quick look at the configuration of the device’s drivers and the access points’ configuration. Commonly the main reasons for a breakdown in the connectivity. First-generation radio drivers and firmware are notorious for possible bugs, which often causes connectivity issues with brand-new access points. Ensure all client devices, whenever possible, have the latest drivers installed and ensure that all access points are up to date with the latest operating system. 

The Tanaza WiFi cloud management platform allows network admins to update the access point firmware of all cloud-managed access points in bulk without the need to reboot the devices and from remote. With each firmware release, Tanaza delivers turnkey features, patch vulnerabilities, and drive security and stability, to empower your devices.

Radio frequency signals can cause another potential performance problem. An outside entity causes noise that interferes with the signal or dataflow across the network, affecting not only the performance but also the coverage of the WLAN, i.e., a microwave interfering with the WiFi signal.

High Power. Having the access points transmitting at full power, particularly for indoor deployments, might lead to oversized coverage, increasing co-channel interference and roaming issues, like sticky clients. So, take a notch down in the access point power.  

You can always avoid these problems with good WLAN design. Most of the issues that appear because of inadequate WLAN design are coverage holes due to access points misplacing and antenna orientation and also co-channel interference. Design your WLANs for for capacity and air time, not for coverage. Read our 7 key recommendations to plan a better WLAN design.

In our next blog article, we will be discussing how to troubleshoot WiFi networks using the OSI model – Layer 2. Make sure to keep an eye on our Tanaza blog.

Looking for a cloud-based platform to manage your WLANs?

Tanaza is a complete cloud platform for IT professionals to manage WiFi networks. Our platform allows MSPs, System Integrators, Network Administrators and ISPs to improve their efficiency levels by managing all WiFi networks, access points, SSIDs and clients from a single platform.

Tanaza simplifies the implementation and configuration of multiple WiFi access points. Users can manage the settings of hundreds of WiFi access points from a single cloud controller platform. Tanaza allows to enable SSIDs, configure IP addresses, set radio power and channels, and more from the managed WiFi dashboard.

Users can increase operational efficiency by enabling network-wide configurations and maximize service availability. Configure access points without rebooting them or restarting the services. Apply the same configuration to multiple access points simultaneously, each access point added to the network will immediately receive the same configurations as the others.

Among the main features of Tanaza:

  • Centralized configuration
  • Remote monitoring
  • Multi-Role Access
  • Fast Roaming
  • Integrated hotspot with advanced analysis

Tanaza is compatible with the most well-known access point brands in the market, like Ubiquiti, Amer Networks, TP Link, LigoWave and more. Alternatively, users can choose from our line of Tanaza Powered Devices: wireless access points pre-loaded with TanazaOS – the powerful Tanaza operating system based on Linux.

Would you like to know more about the Tanaza platform? Download the Tanaza brochure

Try Tanaza

Experience the power of managing WiFi access points from the cloud with Tanaza.

Start a free trial

✔︎ No credit card required ✔︎ 15-day free trial

Tanaza OS

Network Capacity Planning – Wireless Capacity vs Coverage

Network Capacity Planning

Network Capacity Planning – Wireless Capacity vs Coverage


Press play to listen to the article.

Try now the Tanaza
WiFi Management Platform

Start 15-Day Free Trial

✔︎ No credit card needed ✔︎​ Easy configuration

✔︎ Auto rollback when you desire

or continue to read more
about network capacity planning and
how to design a network.

Network capacity planning is the process of designing a wireless network for a specific location, bandwidth, number of access points, channel utilization, and other network capacity constraints. Doing proper network capacity planning helps network engineers to plan the WiFi structure adequately.

The process of designing a WiFi network can start in many ways. All IT teams take a different avenue when it comes to planning a WLAN’s structure. However, the goal of providing connectivity to a specific location in which users will be connected to the network doesn’t change.

In our previous article, we have put together seven key recommendations for network engineers to plan a better WiFi network design.

In this article, we will take a hands-on approach to plan wireless networks. Before deep-diving into it, let’s take a quick look at the differences between planning a wireless network for coverage vs. capacity.

Wireless network for coverage

When deploying WLANs for coverage, there are three main variables to consider: device power settings, physical environment (like buildings, obstacles, walls), and the device antenna capabilities. The latest enterprise gear will automatically adapt their settings to supply ideal coverage. However, long gone are the days when we used to plan for coverage. Nowadays, with the fast-paced growth of IoT devices connected to networks, users not only want to connect their laptops and smartphones to a WiFi network. They want to be on the move and still have a great connection. They want to upload, download, and stream content without the ‘suffer-buffer’ and slow loading rates. 

Consequently, planning only for coverage seems falling short for the current users’ needs. A proper WLAN design for capacity and coverage, paired with spectrum analysis and validation site surveys (pre and post-deployment), will reduce most of the support tickets coming your way related to the performance of your customers’ networks.

Wireless network for capacity

When designing for capacity, instead, we need to analyze multiple variables that will shape the final decision, like the main application to be supported, how many users will be using the network simultaneously, estimate bandwidth per user, and access points throughout. Also, plan for site survey validation that among all the things that are useful for, it helps you to avoid the typical coverage holes in the WiFi networks.

Nowadays, designing WLANs rigidly for coverage is an antiquated concept. WLAN capacity and airtime consumption reduction come first. However, before starting a WLAN design, it is necessary to assess the primary purpose of the network, the main application to be supported, number of concurrent users, type of client devices expected in the network, bandwidth per-user goal, and access points throughput.

Let’s look at each segment in greater detail.

Wireless Network Capacity Planning – How to get started

Follow these steps to start your WLAN design based on capacity:

Assess the application bandwidth requirement

When assessing the application throughput, there’s a primary application that drives the need for connectivity. Let’s take a school as our main example for this article. 

The school’s primary application might be browser-based, streaming a video class, or a learning platform. Understanding what the school needs will help you to know what should be the per-user bandwidth goal. The latter will drive further design network decisions.

We have a tool that can help you to calculate the bandwidth requirement. We created it to suggest the type of access points suitable per location and application type, but to estimate the required bandwidth per-user connection, it comes in handy. Check it out here.

Assess the Aggregate Application Throughput

Once you know the bandwidth throughput per application and connection, you can calculate the aggregate application throughput needed in the area you intend to cover with the WLAN.

As a thumb of rule, you should have an aggregate application throughput for different areas. For instance, one for the classrooms, another one for the halls and the staff offices, as the connections and usage might differ in each area. 

So, let’s say you are designing a WiFi network for a school to support video streaming, which requires at least 3 Mbps per user in a classroom of 50 students.

[Application Throughput] * [Number of Concurrent Users] = Aggregate Application Throughput
So if we do quick maths, it would be:
3 Mbps * 50 students = 150 Mbps for the classroom
Note: the result you get here is a theoretical estimation to use in the calculations of the step 4.

Assess the Aggregate Throughput per Access Point

In practice, most APs support the latest technologies and maximum data rates defined as per the standards. However, the average AP throughput available is usually dictated by other factors like client device capabilities, concurrent users per access point, type of technologies to be supported, and bandwidth.

In reality, client device capabilities can have a meaningful impact on throughput as client devices supporting only legacy rates will have lower throughput than a client device supporting newer technologies. 

When assessing client device throughput requirements, you can run a survey on client devices to determine their wireless capabilities. For instance, if the school wants to prioritize throughput for proprietary hardware, you should identify the supported wireless bands of those devices (e.g., 2.4 GHz vs. 5 GHz). Also, check on the supported wireless standards (802.11a/b/g/n/ac), and the number of spatial streams each device supports. 

Recommendations:

  • To ensure the quality of experience, make sure to have around 25 client devices per radio or 50 client devices per AP in high-density environments. 
  • Also, consider in a high-density context, we’d suggest having a channel width of 20 MHz to reduce the number of access points using the same channel.
  • Client devices do not always support the fastest data rates. Thus, based on the manufacturer’s advertised data rate, then estimate the wireless throughput capability of the client device. A common practice is to consider about half of the data rate. Then, based on that value, reduce further the throughput by 30% for a 20 MHz channel width.

Calculate how many access points are required for a perfect network capacity planning

We suggest double-checking the application throughput requirements. This will have a high impact on the number of access points to deploy and, therefore, it will increase your operational costs if miscalculated.

Going back to our previous example, designing the WLAN for a school, with the following requirements and assumptions:

  • Main application to support: video streaming, which requires 3 Mbps with standard resolution.
  • The classroom accommodates 50 students streaming video to the school laptop at the same time.
  • All laptops support the 802.11ac wireless standard. Also, have 3 spatial streams capability.
  • The WiFi network is configured for 20MHz channels.
  • The WiFi access point yields up to 101 Mbps of throughput.

To calculate roughly how many APs are needed to satisfy the video streaming application capacity, use the following formula:

[Aggregate Application Throughput] / [Access Point Throughput] = Number of Access Points based on throughput
150 Mbps/101Mbps = 1.48 ~ 2 APs per classroom.

Once the number of access points is defined, then the AP’s physical placement can take place. Carry out a site survey to ensure adequate signal coverage in all areas and also proper spacing of APs on the floor plan with the minimum co-channel interference and proper cell overlap. It’s crucial to consider the RF environment and construction materials used for AP placement.

In our next blog article, we will be discussing how to calculate the real access point throughput vs the one advertised by the manufacturer.

Make sure to keep an eye on our blog. We will release weekly blog posts about WiFi network design, key for a healthy and well-performing WiFi network.

Would you like to stay up-to-date with the latest news and trends about the WiFi Industry and the Tanaza platform?

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter so you don’t miss a thing!

WiFi Network Design

WiFi Network Design - How to Design WiFi Networks
WiFi network design – What to take into consideration when designing WLANs

Press play to listen to the article.

Try now the Tanaza
WiFi Management Platform

Start 15-Day Free Trial

✔︎ No credit card needed ✔︎​ Easy configuration

✔︎ Auto rollback when you desire

or continue to read more
about WiFi network design.

In the process of WiFi network design, you need to consider many factors to plan it out thoroughly. In this blog article, I won’t cover the typical step-by-step of ‘how to design a WLAN’, instead, I will highlight key elements that you should take into consideration to successfully design a WLAN. 

WiFi Network Design. Key considerations

1) Plan for capacity not for coverage

Not that long ago, designing a WiFi network was pretty much focused around physical site surveys to determine the number of access points needed to provide enough coverage. Afterward, you would evaluate the results and compare the amount of APs against an acceptable minimum of signal strength, and the whole WLAN design would be deemed a success. 

Going down this road is suitable for WLANs that are planned for coverage but certainly is not the right approach to meet capacity requirements. For instance, when you plan for RF coverage, you leave out key elements like the number of concurrent users, applications’ bandwidth needs, and capabilities that you would cover if you design for capacity instead.

Wireless engineers and IT consultants need to fully understand the network design requirements to ensure a successful design. This step is crucial, so don’t skip it! This will help you reduce the need for further site surveys after you deploy the WiFi infrastructure and deploy additional access points in the long run. 

Grab all the details:

  • What types of applications will be expected in the network, e.g., web browsing, VoIP calls, software, or video streaming? Calculate the bandwidth per user with our tool.
  • What technologies should WiFi infrastructure support (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac)?
  • How many client devices will connect to the WiFi network simultaneously? It will help you to determine the number of spatial streams, technology, and access point type.
  • What are the key areas you need to cover and provide WiFi?
  • Estimate the number of concurrent devices per area 
  • Check if there are any limitations for cabling or any aesthetic requirements, e.g., mesh solution.
  • Also, consider power constraints. It’s way more useful to have an infrastructure equipped with PoE+ that allows you to support high performing access points. 

Once you gather all this information, you can adequately plan for capacity!

2) Channel utilization

The WiFi network management platform you choose should have incorporated a tool to manage radiofrequency. So, it can dynamically assign access points channels, adjust the access point transmit power, and provide coverage lapse mitigation for the WiFi infrastructure. 

For instance, for the 802.11ac wireless standard, radio frequency management should be executed at 20, 40, and 80MHz channel widths. Different client devices will support different channel widths for the 802.11 protocols. Client devices that support the wider channel widths will support higher bandwidth within the particular protocol.

Estimate how many client devices you can allocate per band. With newer technologies, more client devices now support dual-band operation, and hence using proprietary implementation devices can be steered to 5 GHz. A typical design approach is to do a 30/70 split between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. So, do the maths!

3) Roaming

Take into consideration when designing WLANs, especially for high-density environments, that roaming will happen very often. Having access points that support fast roaming or a WiFi management software that can give this capability to access points is crucial—fast roaming aids in reducing application latency while the client device roams from one access point to another.

Furthermore, the placement of access points plays a significant role in roaming. Even after deploying the access points in the right locations, roaming may not perform as you would expect. This is merely due to the variety of client devices connected in the network with diverse Network Interface Cards (NICs) and roaming algorithms. 

Keep in mind that in high-density environments, it is acceptable if a client device doesn’t roam to every access point in the roaming path and only roams to every other access point, as far as roaming is seamless before the client device’s Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) falls between 75 dBm to 80 dBm.

Although the client device usually takes the roaming decision, a management software like Tanaza allows you to enable the fast roaming feature on top of devices compatible with our platform. Lastly, to maximize speed and facilitate roaming, you should disable lower data rates in support of legacy wireless protocols.

4) Think Mobile – Again, Think mobile

A good WLAN design needs to be built up, also, for mobile – its a must, not a luxury! The wireless design for deployment should be optimized for every device, from smartphones and IoT to computers and tablets. Having the right wireless design comes first, especially when ensuring elevated device performance and overall mobility for a better end-user experience. This also means considering features such as 802.11r/w/v.

5) SSIDs

To maximize performance in the wireless space and simplify deployment, try to minimize the number of SSIDs being broadcasted into the environment. The drawback of enabling more SSIDs is that it generates extra channel utilization due to overhead. A target of three SSIDs per access point provides for a flexible yet straightforward deployment model. 

For example, you can have one SSID using a captive portal for guest access and 802.1x client provisioning. A second SSID for 802.1x authenticated users and devices. And a third SSID for particular use cases or specialized wireless devices, e.g., Wi-Fi-enabled VoIP phones, non-802.1x capable devices, or specialized network devices. 

For other use cases, different SSIDs may be required depending on your specific needs, but strive for no more than 3 SSIDs per access point.

6) BYOD

Users want to connect their personal devices to public and private WiFi networks. It’s the standard. Just make sure that users are routed through a web content filter to provide a secure browsing experience to all users.

Tanaza features a cutting-edge integrated network content filter that blocks users from accessing inappropriate or unauthorized websites and applications while using your WiFi networks. This filter blocks malware internet pages and can work as a parental control software tool too.

Lastly, have in place a limit per-user bandwidth consumption in the network to manage its performance. Don’t forget to take into account that the BYOD trend has a direct consequence on the bandwidth and throughput requirement.

7) Bandwidth limitation

Our last recommendation for a better WiFi network design is to put in place a per-client device bandwidth limit on all the WiFi network traffic. Consider that if you prioritize applications such as video and voice, it will significantly impact the network’s bandwidth, limiting the performance of other applications. For instance, 5 Mbps is a good recommendation for a per-client bandwidth limit in a high-density environment. Of course, you can neglect this limit for specific devices and applications and adjust it to your particular needs.
With the ever-increasing use of IoT devices, as well as the exponential use of cloud-based applications, critical to businesses everywhere, it forces IT specialists and consultants to be one step ahead of the game and be prepared. This means having the right wireless network design to meet the client’s needs. 

Make sure to keep an eye on our blog. We will release weekly blog posts about WiFi network design, essential for a healthy and well-performing WiFi network.

Try Tanaza

Experience the power of managing WiFi access points from the cloud with Tanaza.

Start a free trial

✔︎ No credit card required ✔︎ 15-day free trial

Related articles:

 

MSPs – The ultimate guide to the 802.11 ax wireless standard

https://www.tanaza.com/blog/tanazaos-and-openwrt-differences-and-similarities/

Webinar “Best practice per implementare reti WiFi nelle scuole”

Webinar Best Practice per Implementare Reti WiFi nelle Scuole

Tanaza presenta il Webinar “Best practice per implementare reti WiFi nelle scuole”

Prova ora la piattaforma WiFi Tanaza

Inizia una prova gratuita di 15 giorni

✔︎ Nessuna carta di credito necessaria ✔︎​ Configurazione semplice

✔︎ Esegui l’auto rollback quando desideri 

o continua a leggere come implementare le best practice
per implementare reti WiFi nelle scuole.

Un Webinar per scoprire come implementare al meglio le reti WiFi nelle scuole

Gli operatori che si trovano a realizzare reti WiFi negli ambienti legati al mondo dell’istruzione, devono garantire la migliore progettazione, pianificazione e implementazione di reti wireless in situazioni ad alta densità, come le scuole.

Ma, quali sono le pratiche da seguire, le tecnologie necessarie e le funzionalità più utili da considerare per implementare reti WiFi nelle scuole italiane?

A questo e altri quesiti risponde il Webinar gratuito organizzato da Tanaza, in collaborazione con S-MART, “Best practice per implementare reti WiFi nelle scuole”.
Nel webinar, i relatori Sebastiano Bertani, CEO di Tanaza e Michele Risegari, Brand Manager di S-MART, cercheranno di rispondere a tutti i dubbi e le domande riguardo l’implementazione di reti negli ambienti scolastici, commentando i requisiti WLAN e le funzionalità fondamentali per le reti wireless nelle scuole, la gestione centralizzata in cloud e le diverse opzioni per proteggere le reti WLAN da attacchi informatici e minacce alla sicurezza.

MSP, ISP e tecnici del settore potranno usufruire di preziosi suggerimenti e accorgimenti di cui tener conto e utilizzarli come linee guida nella realizzazione dei loro progetti.

Tanaza aderisce al Piano Scuola come partner per la gestione software delle reti WiFi

Piano Scuola è il programma avviato dal Comitato per la diffusione della Banda Ultralarga, con l’intenzione di di potenziare la connettività delle scuole, portando negli istituti la banda ultralarga. In questo modo, la velocità di connessione negli edifici potrà raggiungere 1 Gbps con 100 Mbps di banda garantita, per un totale di 32.213 plessi scolastici.

L’81,4 % degli istituti scolastici potrà essere dotato dell’infrastruttura necessaria per avere una connettività veloce. Attraverso i fondi delle Regioni e altre economie di spesa si punterà poi a raggiungere progressivamente il 100% degli edifici scolastici. In particolare, il piano prevede il collegamento di tutti i plessi scolastici delle scuole medie e superiori sul territorio nazionale e, nelle “aree bianche”, anche il collegamento di tutti i plessi delle scuole primarie e dell’infanzia.

l’Italia si trova in una condizione di forte svantaggio rispetto alle altre nazioni europee, in particolare riguardo la diffusione dell’utilizzo di reti WiFi. Il programma è stato avviato con lo scopo di appianare questo divario. Sono stati quindi stanziati oltre 400 milioni di euro come fondi destinati alla realizzazione di una rete Internet con caratteristiche adatte agli istituti scolastici di tutto il territorio nazionale, potenziando la connettività grazie alla banda ultralarga.

I fondi stanziati per il progetto

I 400.430.897 euro del Piano Scuola saranno utilizzati per coprire i costi strutturali della banda ultralarga nelle istituzioni scolastiche e i costi di connettività per la durata di 5 anni, con inclusa la manutenzione delle reti, che saranno garantiti in maniera gratuita.

Partecipa al nostro webinar gratuito il prossimo 29 luglio 2020 | 11:00 am CEST / 10:00 am BST.

Iscriviti ora al webinar gratuito

Non puoi partecipare live?

Iscriviti e ti manderemo la sessione di registrazione del webinar!